Conference Call

January 20, 2021 Slides

By phone:

Bernard Aguilar, Denise Barnard, Mike Beakes, Tricia Bratcher, Felipe Carrillo, Megan Cook, Flora Cordoleani, Carl Dealy, Matt Dekar, Lauren Diaz, Bruce DiGennaro, Adam Duarte, Jim Earley, Brian Ellrott, Sadie Gill, Chris Hammersmark, John Hannon, Brett Harvey, Rene Henery, Lisa Hunt, Josh Israel, Jacob Katz, John Kelly, Morgan Kilgour, Francisco Jesus Bellido Leiva, Priscilla Liang, Duane Linander, Erin Lunda, Robert Lusardi, Bryan Matthias, John McManus, Erica Meyers, Cyril Michel, Jacob Montgomery, Kirk Nelson, Jenna Paul, Jim Peterson, Corey Phillis, Dick Pool, Derek Rupert, Ian Smith, Kate Spear, Mark Tompkins, Mike Urkov, JD Wikert, Heidi Williams, Alison Whipple, Rod Wittler, PJ Wohner


Welcome, Agenda Review- Megan Cook (FWS)


Overview of SIT for 2021- Megan Cook (FWS)

FY20 Adaptive Management Update Outline (previously called Annual Tech Memo)

The following items will be included in the FY20 memo. The SIT will have a chance to review before the Science Coordinator finalizes.

  • Summary of SIT activities in FY20
  • Near-term Restoration Strategy finalization
    • Data Guidance
    • Monitoring Guidelines
  • Proposals for model changes accepted by SIT
    • Add Battle Creek winter run Chinook
    • Update habitat inputs
    • Update temperature and survival relationship in the delta
    • Update flow and survival relationships in Sac River
  • Formalize additional SIT Documents:
    • Juvenile Chinook Salmon Demographic Parameters Needs
    • Refine Habitat Modeling Priorities Input Needs
    • SIT Critical Monitoring Needs list

SIT 2021 Major Goals

  • New release of model: Prototype and affirm model changes, calibration/sensitivity analysis 
  • Validate existing priorities in new version of model. If warranted, update priorities.
  • Rollout data guidance to currently funded projects 
  • Maintain/nurture SIT Subgroups 
    • Monitoring, Salmon Demographics (Food for Fish, Predator Contact Points), Habitat
  • Improve communication and transparency both with partners and public (celebrate our wins)

SIT 2021 Overview–PROCESS

  1. We’ve established the Near-term Restoration Strategy priority restoration actions and info needs
  2. Next is to proptype the model changes based on the proposals reviewed and accepted by the SIT
  3. SIT reviews the results of prototyping and affirm the changes to the model (is the model improved?)
  4. Then the next round of model calibration and sensitivity analysis will occur (does the model still make sense?)
  5. Leads to a new release of the model
  6. We will run the existing priorities through the updated model to obtain updated output
  7. SIT assesses the revised model output (are existing priorities still supported?)
  8. Based on the revised output, SIT determines whether revised prioritization is required. If so, SIT will follow established process to develop additional candidate strategies and update the priorities list (which will be documented in the Adaptive Management Update Annual Memo)

(see slides for diagram on process)

  • Mike Beakes on diagram: specific to changes in model structures, can you speak a bit on how changes in some constraints we set around model (# actions in a given year)- where does this fall in this schematic?
  • Jim- original plan is the same, run 14 existing strategies in new parameters to see if there’s a difference. This is modification on existing strategy, idea being that this is a check on what the SIT had done.
  • In the next version of the model, we will illustrate what’s changed, what’s updated- part of transparency in documentation

SIT 2021 Overview–SCHEDULE

  • Feb 24, 10am-12pm: SIT Call
    • Topic: Finalize FY20 Memo, Subgroup Updates, Funding Process Update, Updated SIT Guidance
  • March 24-25, 9am-3pm: SIT Meeting
    • Topic: Discuss results of prototype model changes and affirm model changes
  • June 23, 10am-12pm: SIT Call
    • Topic: Updates from Subgroups and Modeling Activities
  • Aug 25, 10am-12pm: Ad Hoc Subgroup Call (open to all)
    • Topic: Review Model Calibration / Sensitivity Analysis results
  • Sept 15, 10am-12pm: SIT Call
    • Topic: Updates and setup for October Meeting
  • Oct 13-14, 9am-3pm: SIT Meeting
    • Topic: Hear results of the review of Model Calibration / Sensitivity. Run current strategy actions and info needs through the model – determine whether updates to priorities are warranted.
  • Dec 15, 10am-12pm: SIT Call
    • Topic: Follow-up from October meeting


SIT Model Tour and Updates- Jim Peterson (OSU/USGS), Adam Duarte (USFS)

  • See slides
  • Reminder that the data and code used to do the analysis are available in the code packages
  • Coarse resolution model
  • Tracks fish metrics at different scales
  • So far we’ve used to evaluate alternatives and sequences over 20 years (increase habitat, pulse flows, barriers)- can handle quite a few decisions
  • Juvenile growth ideas is still in pre-proposal stage
  • Delta separated into 13 zones, based on Russ Perry
    • Two different types of mortality: en route (dies while returning to tributary), and pre-spawn mortality
    • Submodel function of temperature, stranding in sutter/yolo bypass, illegal harvest
    • Fish habitat use and movement out of tributaries, reaches, bypasses, and delta
  • Chinook Delta Routing Survival
  • Adam and Jim writing manuscript about chinook delta routing survival, data and analysis will be included when article is published
  • Russ Perry currently doing some predator work, so may soon have empirical evidence on predator prevalence that we can use to update the expert opinion in the Chinook model.


Subgroup Update: Monitoring- Megan Cook (FWS), Jim Peterson (OSU/USGS)

Subgroup Context

  • SIT monitoring guidance developed prior to NTRS
  • Striving to answer “when is higher tier monitoring needed or appropriate?”

Subgroup Tasks

  1. Use NTRS info needs to guide monitoring level
  2. Short-term: Based on existing info, develop short list of project types/locations for higher level monitoring
    • Existing info detail
    • Not specific projects
  3. Longer-term: Develop guidance on the general characteristics of project locations and types that have high potential to meet NTRS info needs and warrant higher level monitoring
  4. Update Monitoring Guidance to align with NTRS and make it easier for practitioners to use
    • Finished before NTRS, look for opportunities to align documents, reference NTRS where appropriate
    • Pull documents into alignment
    • Summarize differences between monitoring levels
    • Flow chart, maybe


Food for Fish Presentation and Discussion- Jacob Katz, Jacob Montgomery (CalTrout), Rene Henery (Trout Unlimited)

Food 4 Fish Presentation

(see slides and associated reports)
Reports provided:

Jacob Katz - overview
  • Came out of more than a decade of collaborative work with UC Davis watershed sciences, DWR, NMFS, landowners, NGOs, state/federal agencies
  • Work initially focused on fish use on off channel habitats
  • Project we’re talking about today comes out of realizing the former wetland habitat that was the engine of productivity driving salmon abundance is now cut off in the river behind levees. How do we work with owners and managers/land stewards of agricultural floodplains in order to mimic hydrologic patterns that were here historically?
  • Key = wetlands
  • Even in floodplain, it’s designed to drain quickly
  • Set out to work with rice growers, have ability to mimic historical flood pattern, look at aquatic food webs that build in those types of habitats
  • Found in approx 3 weeks after flooding, from groundwater/water coming out of floodplain canals/drainage or ag ditches, or directly pumped out of the river, if that water is held, you end up with a robust invertebrate food web
  • Food web members change depending on location, what doesn’t change is abundance in comparison with food web of river channels
  • Project is understanding how food web is built, if it can be exported to river, how fish reacted to floodplain derived food resource
Rene Henery - connection between project and SIT activities
  • Purpose of technical group is to integrate data that Jacob and Jacob and others are collecting with SIT model in most effective way
  • Proposing Technical Advisory Committee: Jacob Montgomery, Rene, Corey, Mike, Brett (other)
  • Think about data coming from Food 4 Fish group, how it gets integrated into bioenergetics model

Jacob Montgomery - presentation

  • Didn’t run experiment in 2020 water year, will for 2021
  • Monitor zooplankton, enclosure fish growth rates
  • Upstream, floodplain outlet, floodplain canal, 1.0 miles downstream
  • Results shown from 2019 study, big flood year. Would be great to compare in different water conditions (wet vs dry year- 2021 water year)
  • Not a bunch of habitat diversity in that area they tested- woody debris from riparian forest, pretty uniform

Questions to Address SIT Connection

The experimental design of the study

  • Spatial and temporal dimensions
    • 2019: RD 108 Track 6, 2020: RD 108 Track 6+RD 1500 Sutter Basin + Montna Farms
  • Ecological scale of inference
    • Collecting individual growth rates for extrapolation to population affect via SIT model
  • Number of sampling units
    • 2 growth + 1 diet cage per site.
    • 2019: 5 sites (up to 1 mile downstream)
    • 2020: 9 sites (up to 6.5 miles downstream)
  • Source and initial sizes of experimental fish
    • 2019: Feather River Hatchery, initial size 47-50mm.
    • 2020 Coleman National Fish Hatchery, fish pick up Feb 2, 2021
  • Study duration and sampling frequency
    • Nov 1- April 30, weekly sampling.
  • Covariates being collected
    • Weekly: Temp, EC, SPC, TDS, Sal, DO, pH, Turb, Chl-a, BGA, DOC, PO4, TDP, TP, NH4, NO2+NO3, TDN, TN, zooplankton, fish growth, gut contents
    • Continuous: Temp, DO, flooded acreage, export pump discharge
  • Quantification of food availability
    • 4x zooplankton net integrated sample, flowmeter volume, subsampled in lab, species ID counted, extrapolated to food density (see report for details)
  • Spatial and temporal limits to inferences from this study
    • All locations with off channel water delivery for all managed winter flooding, roughly Oct-April, earlier and later for wetlands not farmed
  • Data availability to SIT
    • Following all EDI metadata standards.
    • 2019 package will be delivered immediately following current field season.
    • 2020 package expected mid summer 2021.
    • 2021 package expected end of 2021.

Food 4 Fish Discussion

  • Question: When you hang onto water, don’t drain at the end of Jan, and instead hold out to April to release the decomp water–what’s that going to do to rice production? Every field, or some aside to dry to get crop every year?
    • We’re always looking for a portfolio, now it’s done where all fish food is in one drainage basket at the end of January, would like to see depending on water rights, sources, availability, location, fish availability, to have diversity of water flowing out of floodplain to fish bearing channels, not simple solution. Want to tailor expressly for fish in diff locations in the valley
  • Question: do you plan to measure velocity at the cages? How do you account for the different energetic requirements for different velocities?
    • Not currently planning to measure velocity. Energetics relationship will be the topic for the first meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee
  • Question: Would the additional food cause fish to congregate and thereby change the habitat capacity relationships we currently have in SIT model? Are you planning to seine to see if fish are congregating?
    • Potential for some new categories of in channel habitats with different rules.


New Business (All)